Pius X bishop to appeal fine for denying Holocaust

Richard Williamson

Richard Williamson

A German court  on Friday fined Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) 10,000 Euros, for denying the Holocaust. German television station ARD has reported that Williamson's lawyer, Matthias Lossmann, plans to appeal against the fine.

Williamson, 70,  was prosecuted for saying on a Swedish television programme that there were no gas chambers during the Second World War and claiming  that Germany only killed 300,000 Jewish people.  In fact more than six million Jewish people and millions of Slavs, homosexuals, Gypsies and disabled people lost their lives in the Nazi death camps.  It is a hate crime in Germany to deny the Holocaust.

Williamson did not appear in court himself. His lawyer had appealed the initial 12,000 Euro fine, and got it slightly reduced by arguing that  he had been unaware his comments would spread outside of Sweden on the internet, leaving him open to prosecution in Germany.

Judge Karin Frahm rejected Williamson’s lawyer Matthias Lossmann’s request that the fine be cancelled.

Williamson was one four bishops excommunicated  in 1988 for membership of the SSPX. In January last year Pope Benedict lifted the excommunication on them all, in an effort to begin the process of reconcliation of the group with the Church. At the time the Pope did not know of Williamson's views on the Holocaust. When they were revealed,  they caused considerable controversy especially among Jewish groups.

Williamson offered an apology for his remarks, but the Vatican has rejected this as insufficient.

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